Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kiawah Island, SC Custom Wedding Map

I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't familiar with Kiawah Island, South Carolina before constructing this map. How adorable is this seaside/coastal area though? With magnified areas of East Beach and Freshfields Village, this looks like a great place to get married! It has golf courses, spa resort, a quaint marketplace with views that look to be spectacular. Congrats to Louise and Patrick!

I encourage you to think about custom maps as a welcome bag goodie. You can also frame this later as a keepsake...

Kiawah Island, SC
I shared this sketch a couple of weeks ago, this is how the map was "birthed".... The rough sketch is a part of my process...

Til' next time everyone!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Three Ways to Ensure Critical Color Matches

I've had to do some ink color matching early in the season and thought it would be a good time to offer some tips on things you can do to make sure your envelopes, invitations, etc. come out the way you'd like them. All of our communication is so remote now that there may be a feeling that some of what you see on screen will look just that way in its physical form. This is just simply untrue. You have to actively pursue an accurate color match and here are three ways:
  1. Provide your stationer or calligrapher with a Pantone color to reference. They can grab a detachable chip and either use it while mixing inks, set up their print files with the color, or if its a digital job, everyone knows where you are trying to go so you can get as close as possible.

  2. Provide a David's Bridal color swatch color for them to reference. Even if they do not own the particular swatch, they are affordable and are accessible. The same is true of your actual reception linens...

  3. Provide a satin ribbon, sample of another piece of printed matter or any other element from your wedding or special event. As long as what you hand over is ink on some type of substrate, it will be a great tool for your vendor.
The worst thing you can do is not discuss color at all. At least broach the subject and suggest some of these elements that you can provide for reference. You will be more satisfied with your final printed project as a result.

I'll see you guys again soon!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker Tie the Knot

Congratulations to Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker who's nuptials were on April 4th. In Touch magazine has the exclusive, first look wedding shots that I'm sure everyone is dying to see. Sounds like it was quite a production...

Nuptials took place at Atlanta’s Le Fais Do-Do event facility in front of 300 guests. Kandi emerged from behind a wall of ostrich-feather fans in a custom $20,000 Reco Chapple gown with a 12-foot train.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Two of My Favorite Things: Game of Thrones + Calligraphy

I know that I was not the only GoT enthusiast that excitedly anticipated the premiere episode of season 4 that aired this past Sunday. It was definitely worth the wait and while the first episode was not nearly as gruesome as the series past openers, it was still a nice setup for what's to come.

My eye is always caught by the hand lettering that is showcased on this show. The medieval writing done with "feathers" and dipping ink. It made me recall Lord Tywin Lannister being shown using a wax seal in another episode. I'm sure this is not all, I'll probably add to this blog as I remember.

Its so inspiring though... Thought I'd share some of this work here... All screenshots copyrighted to HBO.

King Joffrey, whom we all love to hate, was featured in a scene with Jamie Lannister where they discussed the King's security for the upcoming royal wedding.

He opens up the "Book of Brothers" which highlights all the heroic exploits of past members of the King's guard

Lord Tywin writing with a feather dipped in ink in the season 3 opener

Wax seal with what MUST be the House Lannister seal...

Communication was so much more formal and important looking back in those times. Thank goodness for clients that want to retain this medium for their events!

Take care everyone and I'll be back on Friday,

Monday, April 7, 2014

Quick Recap of My Calligraphy Class at Paper Source (Chicago)

My first calligraphy class last week was a great success... I had two left-handed students (which I was a  little afraid of), but they both taught me so much, it was great that they attended.

I was a little ambitious attempting to go through the entire alphabet (never enough time), but I was successful using a foam brush for demonstration. Constructing the letters this way emphasizes the 45 degree angle that the pen should be held at in order to produce the proper "thicks and thins" you need.

For the ink I used a mixture of india ink and black acrylic paint

The nib heights to the left of the letters are also important to denote the x-height, ascender and descender  measurements.

Overall, the interaction and time with the students was great and I was super excited to share everything I've learned over the years. Thanks guys for being so welcoming and providing me with such great feedback. Its only going to get better.

I'll be teaching another intro class on April 23, 2014 and also an intermediate course using pen nibs and dipping ink on May 17, 2014. Please call the Paper Source on Southport to sign up! (773) 880-0489

I'll be back on Wednesday, have great weeks!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Intro to Calligraphy Class at Paper Source: Sat. 3/29/14

Happy Monday guys! Excited to announce that I'll be teaching a foundational, calligraphy class THIS coming Saturday, from Noon to 3PM at the Paper Source on Southport! 

This class is for beginners, but there will also be goodies for those who are not holding a pen for the first time! We'll be using chisel tipped markers (no actual pen nibs and dipping ink) so nice, un-intimidating environment for those who want to learn!

I look forward to meeting all the lettering enthusiasts out there! There is still room if you'd like to sign up. Please contact the store as soon as you can.

Take care and I'll be back on Wednesday.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Behind the Scenes with CT-Designs

The first quarter of 2014 has been pretty busy. We've done mirrors, chalkboards, countless envelopes and several destination wedding maps. I thought I'd share some of what goes into developing some of this work...

Rough sketch/layout of a destination map: After having more than a few clients drastically change direction in the middle of laying out these maps, I started to take the time to sketch the map prior to creating it with vector software. This one features a map of Kiawah Island, SC.

My old intern, Sarah took this pic during the Tying the Knot Partyscape shoot. Laura Wrasman always knows just how the setup should go. Lemon Twist Images did a great job taking pics and I love her work.

I like to refurbish chalkboards, especially if they have a cool frame that I can't build. I'll add masking tape to the wood and will use a roller to lay down chalkboard paint. The roller is really a difference maker vs. a brush, I've found.

Every now and again, a client will request an odd layout for their envelopes. This particular client needed the guest names to be large and in a script, with the address being smaller and in a block font. Just like the saying "...there's an app for that!" There is always a template or a layout for something. I printed out a guideline on my printer, mounted it to a card stock with spray mount and then hand trimmed the lines with an exacto blade. The envelopes were opaque so I had to lay this template OVER the envelope and then write.

We've already done (4) mirrored seating charts for weddings in this first quarter! This particular mirror was purchased with no frame (client had their own already) so I ended up sitting it on top of a cutting mat and using a gooseneck magnifier to assist me in gauging the scale/proportions of the letters.

Follow us on Instagram for more peeks into what makes us tick.

Have great weekends,

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